I remember him hunched over the table, carefully cleaning the revolver, inspecting it, beginning again, each chamber gleaming wet with solvent and then wiped clean before he reassembled, reloaded, thick fingers placing each bullet. This is the most important, he’d tell me, finger rounding the lip of the barrel, each swabbing patch coming back black with fouling until they were finally clean. My mother never touched it.  When he was sick, she had a neighbor sneak in while he was in the hospital, hide the bullets. By then his hands shook too much to clean it safely, afraid of accidents. She was afraid of the shot she might hear, the one he meant.